As the beginning of the school year quickly approaches, I am attempting to look beyond “projects” and “initiatives” I would like to implement this year and really write some overall goals for myself. I hope in writing them down, I feel more accountable than I do with “resolutions,” of which I have given up even wasting my time.
I think of my school year goals in four separate pieces: as a learner, as a math lead learner in my district, in my classroom practice, and sustaining my mental well-being, all important in improving my practice as an educator.
As a learner, my goal this year is to really push myself outside of my elementary K-5 math realm and take a deeper look at the connections with the math instruction in the middle/high school. I am extremely curious to dig into big ideas such as equivalence and decomposition that are evident in all of the math work we do K-5, and really see how those foundations are built upon in the secondary grades. I have begun a lot of that work through Twitter and my state level PD I am involved in, but I would like to push myself to do more.
As a district math lead learner, I aim to do some collaborative work with a couple middle school teachers to see Number Talks (or some form of math routine) being used in their classrooms. I also would love to see our professional development running a little differently, thinking a bit outside of the box. ISTE 2014 set an amazing example of using IGNITEs, Playgrounds, and Twitter/Google Hangouts for PD that is differentiated for all teachers and meets everyone’s needs. This year, I want to organize a small piece of this for our teachers.
In my classroom practice, I always have many goals! First, is organization! I think we all know the school year starts completely organized…materials are all in a designated place in the classroom, lesson plans are written neatly, papers are given feedback and returned in a timely manner, and office paper work is turned in on time. Then, the year gets going and it is just about keeping my head above water! Although I am sure this will continue to be the case this year, I aim to prioritize and use my time more wisely during the school day.
Secondly in my classroom practice, I want to improve on giving feedback on student assignments. Not grades, true written, focused feedback. Again, this is about prioritizing school obligations and making the time.
For my own mental well-being, running continues to be a necessity in my life! After the whirlwind that is the school day, I always need to clear my head! I have been so motivated this year by our #500in2014 Twitter running group, that I am averaging 100 miles/month and on pace to reach 1200 before January 1st. That is so exciting and something that is a continuing goal throughout the year!
Let the countdown to the school year begin!